2014B Day 9: Back To Normal

Well things finally got back to normal tonight at LCO. Not a cloud in the sky, seeing was 0.5 arcseconds most of the night, T.J. fell asleep in the control room, and most importantly – our good friend Miss Viz was hanging out at the clean room today! We haven’t seen any Viscachas on their usual roosts, but one was there today.

Miss Viz, one of the clean room Viscachas was spotted for the first time on this run.

As I said, tonight we got the absolutely perfect observing conditions we’ve come to expect from LCO.

Finally, a cloud-less sunset.
The ASM as we opened for what turned out to be an amazing night.

The great conditions have led to some really nice results. Here’s a 47% Strehl ratio image at z’ (that means it’s really good).

We took these images tonight. At left is with an ND filter to prevent saturating. At right is a no-ND deep exposure, where you can see the spider arms and other high-contrast details. The junk in the center is CCD bleeding. Click for more pixels.

We also did some work at H-alpha. Here’s a nice H-alpha jet coming from a young binary star system. FWHM in this image is 30 milli-arcseconds. That’s from stacking 15 second exposures.

An H-alpha jet imaged with MagAO’s VisAO camera in SDI mode. Click for more pixels.

At the end of a great night, we saw a gorgeous sunrise over the Andes. Here’s a shot of the MagAO ASM, Clay, and Baade right before we closed up.

A sunrise shot of the MagAO secondary at the top of Cerro Manqui. Anna, you can click for the high-res version.

I don’t think these have been on the blog yet this run.

Some more nice flowers,

So, the last week has been pretty rough from an observing perspective. The clouds and bad seeing means a lot of stress and frustration. I think this video captures what it’s like sometimes in the control room during nights like we’ve had up until now.

Here’s the song of the day. I’m guessing this is going to be a staple at McKale center this year.